Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Al Jazeerah on The Gulf

When researching some facts for my previous posts I stumbled upon an article written by Al Jazeerah (in English) that I thought deserved a bit of thought. The article is about the naming dispute between the Arabs and Iranians on the Arabian/Persian Gulf.

Title:The Dispute About the Persian/Arabian Gulf Name: How Should it Be Resolved?

By Hassan El-Najjar and Nader Habibi

Al-Jazeerah, February 11, 2005

I really liked how both writers, although Arabs, had a very impartial views and wrote in a very fair and academic way about the topic. Such writing is rarely seen these days. Either the Iranians would very aggressively argue that it's always been the Persian Gulf (why not Iranian gulf?) or the Arabs would continue using Arabian Gulf just to piss off Iran.

Either way, it's not a simple topic and there are many historical factors behind this conflict. In addition the current geo-political situation in the Gulf is such that it makes such a naming contest much more important than it really is. So we should try to find a solution to it that agrees to both sides, and that fits in with other problems such as Iranian nuclear ambitions and Iran's occupation of the 3 Emarati islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb.

To keep matters brief, I will not paste the whole article, yet I strongly advise you to read it whether you're Persian, Arab, or just curious about the Gulf. The Article:


Personally I never seen much point to highlight one's differences as opposed to one's similarities. We have a lot of things that bind us with our Iranian neighbours up North. We should be proud of these links and work to make them stronger. I really do not mind calling it the Persian Gulf or even the Islamic Gulf (as proposed by the Ayatollah) if we get some of our rights back as Arabs. After all, there are 22 Arabic countries in the world but just one Persian country. Looking at things with a global view mean it would make sense to call it Persian because it would pinpoint the location better. Imagine having a similar Gulf in between some Latin American countries, and they called it the Latino Gulf, that would really confuse me as an outsider as to where its position is.

Usually the smaller nation wins in these areas. Also look at the Sea of Japan. Japan is much smaller than China, and yet I believe it's called after Japan because it pinpoints it better on the map. The Irish sea is another example. As Arabs we should be realistic and flexible without letting go of our rights of sovereignty and security in our seas. Resolving this issue would benefit both the Arab and Persian peoples greatly.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Cartoon of the Day

Right of Return versus Israeli evil Bibi. Mother Palestine!

(Sorry I cannot even remember the source of this picture, if you're the owner let me know and I'll remove it)

Friday, 25 September 2009

UNuclear Israel?

I recently read an article that made my day:

Gulf News 18 Sept 2009

Vienna: Arab states in the UN nuclear assembly on Friday won narrow approval of a resolution urging Israel to put all its atomic sites under UN inspection and join the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Jewish state deplored the measure for singling it out while many of its neighbours remained hostile to its existence, and said it would not cooperate with it. The non-binding resolution, which passed for the first time in 18 years of attempts thanks to more developing nation votes, voiced concern about "Israeli nuclear capabilities" and urged the International Atomic Energy Agency to tackle the issue.

So, fanatic racist Israel can have nuclear weapons (and not much nuclear power) and (equally?) fanatic Iran is not allowed to have any of the above? Perhaps it's worth noting that Israel is Jewish and Iran is Muslim. Moreover, Iran is generally anti-American.

Before the vote, US Ambassador Glyn Davies said the resolution was "redundant ... Such an approach is highly politicized and does not address the complexities at play regarding crucial nuclear-related issues in the Middle East."

Redundant or crucial to peace Mr Ambassador? Let's not forget that the US uses its veto powers (only 5 countries in the world have that power) very frequently to protect Israel:

"Washington used its veto 32 times to shield Israel from critical draft resolutions between 1972 and 1997. This constituted nearly half of the total of 69 U.S. vetoes cast since the founding of the U.N."

(Source: By Donald Neff, Former Time Magazine Bureau Chief, Israel, link)

Typical hypocrisy from America in favour of Israel. However, this is a good day for justice and a good day for Palestine.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Sears Tower Glass Boxes

The Sears Tower in Chicago, USA has recently added a lovely assortment of glass boxes for visitors to marvel at this engineering feat from the 103rd floor!

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Website Review - http://www.palestinefacts.org/ - Propaganda Alert


The website displayed above is a farce. It's a thinly disguised attempt to colour the Arab-Israeli conflict in the blue colours of Zionism and making it appear like this is the truth, at least from a Palestinian standpoint. The target audience for this website is people who are not very knowledgeable about the conflict and who don't know who to ask for information. However, even with zero facts, you will quickly discover the bias, as I will demonstrate below:

1-It's Anonymous

No one seems to want to claim responsibility for this website, as this paragraph quoted from the FAQ section demonstrates:

"There is no one individual editor. The site has been prepared by a team of writers and editors who are knowledgable of the history, politics, economics and military situation in the Middle East, based on information compiled from the best available sources. They have developed Palestine Facts to provide much-needed factual information to everyone who may be interested in the current situation in Israel, how it evolved to today's status, and what might be reasonable policies for the future."

I wonder how many of those "team of writers" are Zionist? or Arab?
Would you trust the opinion of someone without a name?

2- The nomenclature used is exclusively zionist:

For example, the Occupied West Bank is called Judea and Samaria which is a biblical name fanatic Zionists like to call Arab land that they believe belongs to them. No one (even the UN) uses such names except Israel. This is the same area where some Israeli soldiers refuse to serve on ethical grounds. The UN has issued numerous resolutions deeming Israeli settlements in that area illegal, and yet Israel continues to build on land that is not theirs.

3- Biased Maps:

"Invalid Palestinian Arab Maps.Anti-Israel forces have made an industry out of producing invalid maps that either deny the existence of Israel altogether or distort the history and modern situation."

Basically according to this "unbiased" website, any map that is pro-Palestinian is automatically anti-Israeli. What biased logic. The aim of this website is to delete Palestine from the world vocabulary. Interestingly, they do not mention anything about the Israeli Apartheid Wall which was unilaterally drawn by the Israelis and which clearly illegally annexes Arab land that does not belong to Israel.

Even Wikipedia acknowledges that: "Parts of the barrier are built on land seized from Palestinians", although their maps show a clear bias against the Palestinians by naming Arab land with Jewish names. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_West_Bank_barrier

Unbiased websites such as this: http://www.stopthewall.org/maps/150.shtml show the land grab graphically on accurate maps.

4- Biased Sources:

Any academic knows that the quality of your thesis is underpinned by the quality of your sources. This website uses exclusively Israeli sources to describe their supposed Palestinian viewpoint. It's like asking the KKK to abolish slavery. Their map references include:

The Department for Jewish Zionist Education, The Jewish Agency for Israel
State of Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Maps of Israeli Interests in Judea and Samaria, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies

5- Denial of any Palestinian history or rights:

The site blatantly tries to argue everything for Israel's benifit, it even claims that the Occupied Territories are not such but they are "occupied territories" very much in the same way that Arabs try to deny Israel's existence by calling it "Israel".

There is a section called Arabian Fables that is as logical as a drunken alcoholic abusive rapist. For example:

"The "Palestinians". That is the fundamental myth.

Again, the use of the quotations to indicate that the Palestinians don't exist. Weird, because the word Palestine has been there since even before the Arabs came to Palestine, and is a Greek name in fact, more than 2000 years old. Another gaping hole in their logic especially since their website's name is Palestine Facts!

What about this:

"Josef Goebbels, the infamous propaganda minister of the Nazis, had it right. Just tell people big lies often enough and they will believe them."

Let's get it clear. This is a website full of anti-Palestinian propaganda. What is very ironic is that they use Nazi propaganda to claim that their propaganda is correct. Well two wrongs never made a right.

Let's never forget that it's Nazi Germany that killed the Jews and not Arab Palestinians. The holocaust is not an Arab problem but the Arabs have had to pay for it. Wouldn't it be fairer if we founded Israel inside Germany?

Here is an example of the daily realities in the Occupied Territories controlled by Israel. This young Jewish extremist man is shown throwing wine at a Palestinian Muslim woman in Hebron. This is wrong because:

1- Alcohol is considered un-Islamic, and thus it is rude to do this to a Muslim.
2- The woman has clearly done nothing to provoke the man, would he accept this to be done to his mother?
3- Since Hebron is a city with an Arab majority (166,000 Arabs, and 500 Jews), isn't it rude for visitors to behave in such a manner?
4- This kind of behaviour would be treated as antisocial racist behaviour in any civilised country, and yet in Israel it's considered normal for Jews. Palestinians don't really have a say even though they completely outnumber the Jew, who of course are heavily armed, and protected by the Middle East's only nuclear power. Obviously the western media doesn't report these things either. (Imagine source: Palestine Think Tank).

Trainee Traders

Shaikha Khamis, a student at the Zabeel Secondary School for Girls, had never invested in stocks and shares before, but in her first two weeks of trading she bagged an impressive profit of Dh107,481 (US$29,262).

That represents a return of about 10 per cent on her original investment of Dh1 million, and is the kind of performance that would have experienced fund managers and traders hugging themselves with glee. Not bad for a 20-year-old.

It was impressive enough to win this year’s Summer Stock Game, run by the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), during two weeks earlier this summer.

What fantastic work for these young Emirati women! I wish them all the luck! Luckily, being so young, they have time on their side! Mashalla.


The National 19.09.2009

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Eid Al Fitr - 1430 - 2009

20.09.2009 - 2009.2009 (unique number)
01.10.1430 (hijri)

إلى قرائي الأعزاء

كل عام وأنتم بخير بمناسبة حلول عيد الفطر السعيد راجين الله عز وجل أن يتقبل صيامنا ويجعله عيد فرح وسعادة إن شاء الله.

بو جاسم

My Dear Readers,

Wishing you a very happy Eid Mubarak, and may your fasting be accepted and your Eid be joyous.


Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Patrick Swayze dies

I was sad to read this morning that Patrick Swayze has died, aged 57.

He was a terrific actor and fought cancer very bravely.

He will be missed by many.


Very famous UK cinema Advert:

Sunday, 13 September 2009

MKD Piano Music - A Challenge

In my previous version of this blog, I used to enjoy blogging about my piano improvisations and compositions. I reached my 14th album when life took a turn and I had to abandon my project. The good news is that I am back, and I am trying to find a way to re-publish the music. I am eternally grateful to Secret Dubai for allowing me kind access to her server to upload my music over the years. However, since I am in the UAE at the moment and something happened on the proxy front, it seems that SD's domain is blocked (makes me miss the UK). However this also means that most of my avid UAE-based readers cannot get access to my music.

So the quest is to find a way to upload my mp3 files so that my blog readers can download them. I don't even mind having to pay Etisalat for this, but would rather not because I don't like them. So, if anyone has any ideas then please let yourselves be heard!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Last week's media round-up

Here is a sample of what I've been reading in the news during last week.

1- Saudi Arabia on UAE ID cards:


Irena and the pursuit of renewable energy: The UAE is shooting itself in the foot and any success it achieves in this area will undermine the strategic role and value of oil.

" The nuclear programme: The UAE has gone it alone and has agreed to very aggressive terms in signing its nuclear deal. This has created an unfortunate precedent for any future negotiations that other Gulf States may embark on.

" Security and the Central Bank: The economic openness of the UAE has attracted many shady characters (members of the intelligence services, mafia, thieves, etc.) and this is the reason why the Gulf Central Bank cannot be hosted in the UAE.

The words of: Dr Kamal Bin Mohammad Al Asbahy, adviser to the Department of Developmental Projects, Decision Making and Problem Solving in Saudi Arabia.

2- The Jewish jumper:


"She never came in the shower with us, so we thought she was a little weird, but I had absolutely no idea she was actually a man." - contemporary of Dora Ratjen.

"I thought it would be a much better thing if a Jewish girl can show she can compete with anybody in the world." - Dora Ratjen

3- October 1st - Arab Israeli citizens strike


"The increasingly harsh political climate in Israel under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government has prompted the leadership of the country’s 1.3 million Arab citizens to call the first general strike in several years.

The one-day stoppage is due to take place on October 1, a date heavy with symbolism because it marks the anniversary of another general strike, in 2000 at the start of the second intifada when 13 Arab demonstrators were shot dead by Israeli police."

from The National.

4- Sheikh Zayed's Advisor:


"Dr Zaki Nusseibeh is as excited as a child with a new toy. The ­latest hi-tech audio equipment has just been installed in his elegant drawing room, giving him access to his massive collection of classical ­music at the touch of a button. Two space-age silver and black speakers stand like slimline ­Daleks, ready to pour out his ­beloved ­Wagner so perfectly that it sounds as if the Bayreuth Symphony ­Orchestra is in the room.


When Jerusalem was occupied in 1967 his father, who knew Sheikh Zayed, suggested he come here. And although he started his career as a journalist, Nusseibeh’s linguistic skills (he speaks Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Russian) soon made him an indispensable member of the court.

Today, he serves as an adviser at the Presidential Court and interpreter for Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE. He founded Abu Dhabi’s two classical music festivals, serves as vice chairman of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and is a member of the board of the Sorbonne University."

from The National as well.

Friday, 11 September 2009

9/11 Eight Years On

On this fateful day eight years ago more than 3000 people lost their lives in New York city. Unfortunately the murder of those innocents lead to more lost lives all over the world. This day changed our modern world forever, and some might say the change was not for the best.

Murder and war rarely make civilisations stronger nor do they ensure stability. Look at the Pharos, Romans, Greeks, Mongols, Napoleon, British Empire, etc.. they have been well-documented by history. Rather than paint a negative picture let us try to paint a more positive one.

8 years feels like a long time and indeed I cannot remember much about how air travel was prior to 9/11. How uncomplicated. I cannot also remember how easy it was to enter the USA, since I never attempted to do so in the last 8 years. Let us hope that we can change things to the better, to push for more freedoms and civil liberties, to give voice to the weak, and to only use war as a last resort or a no-resort.

Above all, my thoughts go to the families of the initial victims in this domino game of doom that suffered and continue to suffer from 11/9/2009 and onwards. May you reach internal peace and may your loved ones rest in peace.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


My dear readers, today is a special day which we must not forget. I believe someone beat me to it and said it more eloquently here:


Dubai Metro - A Welcoming!

Metro Dubai will be unrolled in a less than an hour! Will be opened by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum. Such a fantastic project for Dubai, the UAE, and the Arab World to be proud of. One of the fastest rates of construction. Just 49 months till now. Of course it's a phased opening but it's very impressive. Mabrook Dubai :) God Bless You!

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Flying Rabbis

What do you think of this:

A group of rabbis and Jewish mystics has taken to the skies over Israel, praying and blowing ceremonial horns in a plane to ward off swine flu.


Each religion has their own special ways to do things. For example Muslims will say a special prayer to induce rain. However, we can do our prayers from the ground :)

Monday, 7 September 2009

Tsunami too late?

Please have look at this amazing poster. Originally from WWF but I got it from Jazarah.net (thanks!).
The question is if the Tsunami hit the USA in 2001, would they have invaded the sea instead of Afghanistan and Iraq?

Friday, 4 September 2009

Loony Lanes - A Driving Post

Having spent a really f***ed up evening on the road yesterday I am in a enough of a bad mood to share with you some things I hate about the driving animals we see on our UAE roads. I will try to be descriptive yet brief and to the point. If you see such behaviour please try to eliminate it at source and if you drive like that then be warned, because your days are numbered.

The wrong driving habits are (ordered by annoyance factor):

1- Taking the fast lane and driving at 40 km/h lower than the speed limit or at 58 km/h whatever is the lowest. Usually committed by white Nissan Sunny's or people with UAQ or Ajman number plates. Note species shown in picture contains a Shj marking, which are also known to exhibit the above behaviour occasionally but at a lower frequency than their cousins from the North.

2- The minivans and other idiots driving in the 2nd fast lane (that's the 2nd lane from the left of the road) at a very low speed when the other lanes to their right are empty. Thus creating a dangerous hazard, and opens the door to overtaking from the wrong side.

3- Idiots who overtake without realising that they don't have the power to actually overtake and thus block two or more lanes until they realise their impotence. Usually crowded buses or minivans and occasionally trucks even. No one cares about the ban on trucks on main roads eh? This is usually the case when two idiots from (2) above find each other on the same lane and the idiot behind tries to overtake the idiot in the front.

4- Empty trucks driving at 120+ km/h on the right most lanes on Emirates Road.

5- Minivans driving fast around bends and in general without due regard to anyone, including themselves.

6- Idiots who keep flashing you from behind even when the road is full in front of you. These are safely labeled with AD numberplates for easy identification and avoidance. They will usually be covered with very dark tinted windows because they are too ugly to be shown to the world or because they are too cowardly to show their faces. They will not hesitate to use the hard shoulder on the left to overtake. They think that radar flashes are actually flickering lightbulbs for smaller cars.

7- Cars that pull up from a slip road on the right straight into the faster lanes at slow speed like a fat useless duck instead of using the slip lane to accelerate. Usually old-style gold-coloured Nissan Sunnies or overcrowded Corollas from Ajman with the windows down (no a/c) and faded tinting. This form of species is also known to migrate from Al-Ain where slip roads do not exist or are not used.

8- When the animal in (6) above approach a lesser animal from behind, and that animal then turns to the right almost crashing into you because they can only check one thing at a time. Thus means you need to check from AD species when you're in two or more lanes.

9- Fast cars that zig-zag to maintain a high speed. These are usually old Ford Mustangs or Honda Civics that have been lowered and have punched holes in their exhausts. They tend to be young men from Satwa and Jaafliya in Dubai with questionable origins. They are known to misjudge their moves every now and then, and this is manifest in the trashed cars you see on the sides of roads with the description above. They will also have stickers on their cars describing them as animals (e.g. a bulldog sticker, or a sticker saying that he's a Rebel or a street dog or something).

10- Cars that jump queues to take an exit on the right. Police, hello, what are you doing? Close youtube and please sort out our roads. Mind you Shj Police is good in cracking down on this, and I respect them for that. (Image credit: dubaithoughts.blogspot.com)

11- Sharjah plated cars in general. The thing is most Shj drivers actually have Dxb numbers, so those left with the former are quite the species and should be protected from leaving their natural habitat which is infested and abundant with roundabouts.

12- Idiots who drive with their fog lights on during the clear nights. The cars are usually Mercedes c-class coupes or generally Mercedes sedans. The fog light setting on the merc works like this: pull once and you fire up the front fog lamps, and pull again and you'll fire the rear fog lamp that's usually on the right side only. This makes you look stupid and not cool. It makes your rear lights look like one is blown out.

13- This extends to the species in (12) above. It is not cool to drive with just your front fog lights instead of your headlamps. The species with this feature are usually of the Nissanus Patrolus variety with dodgy writing in Arabic at the back supporting a football club of sorts. Since when do animals support football? Fortunately most Nissanus cars do not have rear fog-lamps, and the species in this entry cannot usually afford Mercs. Unfortunately a lot of those species are native of Dubai areas such as Rashidiya or Nad Al Shamma and should never be disturbed because they have nothing to lose. Fortunately they can be identified from a distance. The worst variety by far are those with white cars and black tinted windows with the writing (لا إلاه إلا الله) on the back. Avoid them at all costs. They remind me of what you should say when you die. I believe they are the Arab Kamakazis should that be the last thing you read before you yourself perish. Avoid.

14- Idiots who drive without seatbelts or who allow their kids to hold the steering wheel or both.

15- Any car with any type of Arabic writing on the back. The writing usually says things like (Remember Allah) or (Sub7an Allah) etc. These are the most dangerous types of animals because they are unpredictable. They are charactarised by thick skins and additional stickers usually covering the rear windshield thus making the mirror useless.

They usually drive very white or very black cars that are Nissan Altimas, Dodge Chargers, Toyota Camry's or the worst is the Nissan Armada (nickname the camel) because no matter what car you have, you'll never be able to see past it's hump. Avoid at all costs.

16- Vehicles that jump red lights. Fortunately their numbers are reducing rapidly because of higher enforcement rates and their low survival rates when involved in side and head-on collisions with other, mostly innocent, animals.

17- Species that block yellow boxes.

18- The setting is Emirates Road or SZR. You're approaching an exit and you're either going straight or taking the exit. You find a hesitating rhino. He cuts sharply to the right to take the exit, then changes its mind and goes right. Sometimes in the wilderness, this happens more than once on one exit resulting in chaos.

The rhino usually then uses its hazard lights (like peacocks use their feathers to tell you they are there, except rhinos are so ugly). The rhino will then attempt to reverse to take the exit. A classic! The picture shows a particularly inventive chap.

19- Species that decide to celebrate an accident ahead, an accident on the left, an accident on the right, an imagined accident or if they have had twins by using the hazard lights.

20- Tailgating. Usually this is observed amongst herds of rams that are used to butting things. They are usually equipped with equally powerful motors to do some serious damage. Unfortunately both sides get hurt in a headbutt!

I think twenty is enough, however surely my dear readers will have much more to add to this. In fact, when look at those twenty again I don't think I can possibly order them in any way because they are all very dangerous and annoying activities. Please assume the numbers are used for reference rather than for rank.

As you probably realise, some species are more suited to driving away from any kind of road systems or even roads. And yet some of them cannot manage to reach their destinations offroad as this video demonstrates:

Buckle up and eliminate the idiots on the roads by securing them in their natural habitats.

(Note: The words: people, drivers, animals, rhinos, and idiots are all used interchangeably.)

Thursday, 3 September 2009

New York in 1609

This post is dedicated to Mr Rosh, may Allah listen to my prayers and bring him back to the world of bloggers :)

Have you wondered what Manhattan Island looked like before the humans occupied it? If you thought the Americans ruined Iraq (joke!) then have a look at those pictures by the lovely American publication National Geographic.

Have a look at these links:

1- Interactive Map (Recommended!)

2- Main article (a lot of words)

3- Pictures

This makes me think I was born too late!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Gmail offline

Has anyone suffered from the disrupted gmail last night? I did. For more info:


It's impressive how reliant we are on Gmail for news and information, at least I am! What about you?

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

UAE National Anthem

All schools in the UAE will now be forced to raise the UAE flag daily and play the national anthem. I think this is a fantastic step. I went to a private school and we used to do this everyday. Taabor al Saba7 we used to call it. It was fun sometimes or boring or both but we felt like a country back then, and we all felt together. I loved the national anthem. I am a dying breed because not many people now know the words of the anthem, but what you learn as a kid will stay with you all through your life. It's such a beautiful anthem. Do you think this is a wise decision?

Obviously we were better than those pesky kids when we were their age. We knew all the words not like them skipping the middle bits! haha a cookie for someone that can name the missing section :) the chorus!